Friday, 5 April 2019

E is for Eastchurch - Encounter by Natasha Duncan-Drake - Day 5 #AtoZChallenge

E is for Eastchurch

Welcome to my blog and Day 5 of the AtoZChallenge for 2019. I have another short fic for you today to go with my theme of flash fiction ghost stories inspired by local hauntings in Kent. You can also find recordings of all the stories on my Patreon - some posted publicly, some for patrons only.

I have what I hope is an amusing little tale for you today inspired by a ghost sighting in Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey. Apparently one night a couple in a car came across a woman in the road wearing what looked like a wool shroud, but when they got out of the car to see if she needed help, she vanished. It was law during the 18th century that everyone had to be buried in a wool shroud, which I had never heard before - so today has taught me something :).


by Natasha Duncan-Drake

There was a woman standing in the middle of the road. Paul's headlights illuminated her in bright, white splendour.

"What the hell?" Lucy asked, finally looking up from her phone as Paul slammed on the brakes.

Paul just gestured out the windscreen with one hand while putting the car in park with the other.

"Oh," Lucy said.

The woman was staring off towards the side with what looked like a whiteish blanket wrapped around her. She didn't give any indication she realised she'd almost been splatted by a car.

"She looks like she escaped from somewhere," Paul observed.

The woman's dark hair appeared to have dirt in it, and her feet and lower legs were bare.

"Or she could have just run away from some mad man," Lucy said, swiping at his shoulder. "Go and see if she needs any help. I'm calling 999."

Paul glanced back out the front again. He wasn't really sure he wanted to get out of the car.

"What if the mad man is still around?" he asked.

Lucy said nothing and he turned to find a cool stare levelled at him.

"Okay," he said, reaching for his seatbelt.

He knew that stare too well. Usually it meant that if he didn't alter his perspective, he wouldn't be getting any sex for weeks. Paul liked sex. It was an annoying conundrum, because Lucy wielded her power like a weapon.

He opened the door and half climbed out.

"Um, hello," he called, hoping she would just respond.

Maybe they'd driven into someone's re-enactment or such like. You never could tell what went on in the back lanes of Kent.

"Go on," Lucy said, prodding the leg he still had in the car. "See if she's alright."

"She doesn't seem to know we're here," Paul said.

"Then go to her," Lucy replied.

Clearly there would be no compromise on this one.

Reluctantly he climbed the rest of the way out of the car.  He deliberately left the door open as he stepped round it towards the woman. She hadn't moved at all.

"Hello," he tried again as he moved towards her.

Still nothing. Even when he was only a couple of feet from her, she stared off into the darkness. Paul glanced in the same direction, but there didn't seem to be anything much there. The houses on the road were further up in the other direction.

"Well ask her if she's okay," came from behind him.

He turned to see Lucy half out of the car with her phone in her hand. He turned back and shuffled into the edge of what should have been the woman's line of sight. That was when his brain decided to point out how pale and gaunt the woman's face was. She looked like she hadn't eaten in a while.

"Hello," he tried for a third time because he was British and it seemed polite. "Are you alright? Can we help you?"

On the word 'help' she finally moved. Slowly the woman turned her gaze so it was right on Paul.

"Home," she said and completely vanished.

Paul almost wet himself.

"Oh crap, oh my god, oh f…"

"Get in the car!" Lucy screeched.

Paul didn't need telling twice. He ran for the car like the devil was on his heels and they were speeding down the road before he even took a deep breath.

"That …" he said.

"Nope," Lucy said.

"What?" he slowed down when they hit the lights of the village.

"Never mention this incident ever again," Lucy said in even and distinct syllables.


"No buts," she said, "not ever, understand?"

That tone suggested he would never have sex again if he disagreed, so he nodded and kept driving.

Dramatic Reading on Patreon

For this month I am also recording dramatic readings of all the ghost stories. These are available on my Patreon. Some are public, some are patrons only.

Visit Other AtoZers:

AtoZChallenge Master List of Blogs 

Please do let me know what you think of the story and leave me links to your AtoZ entries so I can visit you back. I love to chat.
So, would you immediately tell everyone if you saw a ghost, or would you keep it quiet?


  1. I would tell. I enjoy hearing you read.

    1. Thank you , I'm having a lot of fun making the recordings, except when my cats decide that they want to interrupt :D

  2. I'd've run like Paul! Nice story, Tasha.

  3. This sounds very like an urban legend, though usually it involves a hitchhiker who vanishes from the back of the car.

    A nice piece of flash fiction!

    1. I think there may be a phantom hitchhiker coming for later on - I shall have to check my list and see if I picked that one :D
      Thank you!

  4. Replies
    1. So would I - but then I'd be the one still in the car too - LOL

  5. Poor Paul :)

    I loved listening to the audio version.

    1. Thank you - it's been fun recording the stories. :)

  6. This had the right mix of horror, humor, and a slight dash of melancholy. Well done, Tasha.

  7. Hello, fellow A-to-Zer! Also? Eek! That was an effective telling of a ghostly encounter. I like the way we see just a little of the relationship between Paul and Lucy, and at the same time see a ghost, in a very short story. Great!

  8. LOL. I like that you mix up your posts -- one scary day followed my a non-scary day :-)

    Ronel visiting from the A-Z Challenge with Music and Writing: The E


Thank you so much for reading. I love to hear from people. Please leave your comments below.